Thursday, January 19, 2012

All Goya with a Touch of Picasso

RAG Week, Galway, Ireland
March 2004

I am in the middle of a bar hop during Ireland's Raise-A-Grand Week, in which all the pubs open early and close late.  (Also, something about charity.)  I am the caboose in the Lady Train that is winding/pushing its way through the crowded pub, when I am stopped by a young man on a bar stool.  "Excuse me," he says.  "I just wanted to stop you and tell you that you're lovely-"  I made motions to continue moving towards the back of the pub where my friends gathered.  "No!  Wait.  I didn't want to come out here tonight, I just broke up with my girlfriend, but my lads made me, and I'm so glad they did,   because you're lovely, and-" he pauses and gestures me closer for effect, "- I would tell a girl that I loved her to get in her pants, but I wouldn't tell her she was lovely."

 507 Main, Belmar, NJ
August 2005
It's the summer, it's last call, and I'm out in Belmar, which means I'm looking around for my friends while avoiding eye contact with anybody else.  A young man saunters up to me.

"Excuse me, but you have a boyfriend, don't you?"

I size him up.  "Yes," I lie.

"I could tell.  But I have to tell you....[pauses for effect]....I'm better than your boyfriend."

"Oh?" I said.

"Yeah....I work at Z100."

I immediately perked up.  "Are you Greg T the Frat Boy?!"  (Sorry for the geographic-centered humor there but I assure you that was a hoot for those who ever listened to Z100 in the morning in the late 1990s.)

(Another side note: I have never google-imaged Greg T the frat boy before, but it is astounding how much that guy looked like him.  Or at least my memory of him.  Maybe he really was Greg T the Frat Boy and I made a devastating mistake.)

Anyway, so he took my jab as an invitation to keep going, and go on he did.  "No, but I work there.  And listen, I don't know if people down here know about this type of thing (!!!) but I went to Tufts.  That's almost Ivy League."

Jon: I heard about that guy at 507, almost Ivy League, eh?
Katie: --it doesn't really matter what I said here, I promise--
Jon: man, the snobbery is actually coming through the screen
Jon: I've gone through 12 laptops since I've known you

K Street, Washington, DC
Present Day
As I mentioned yesterday, I am moving to a new job and am in the midst of finding my replacement.  I forgot how much of a joy it is to go through other people's resumes and cover letters, particularly for people who have little to no professional experience. I dealt with this more in my previous job, when I was in charge of hiring interns, but in this round of hiring there have been plenty of people who have either no experience at all or whose only experience is completely irrelevant. Either way, interns who insist that they should be directing a Congressional Committee have a very similar attitude to drunk dudes at a bar who think that the tighter their shirt is, the better chance they have of taking home a woman.

And I completely sympathize with people who are on the job hunt.  Been there, done that.  It's awful, and you grasp at straws, and I completely get that.  I'm not talking about everyone.  I'm referring to a very select group of people who either can't acknowledge their lack of experience or don't even realize that it exists.

(I also acknowledge that gathering up your favorite lines from cover letters and interviews is only slightly less egotistical and ragingly self-aggrandizing as gathering up your favorite pickup lines, but tough, this is my blog.)

"I am an expert in health care policy."
Really?  Really, you are?  Your claim to health care policy expertise comes from being a Staff Assistant to some random Congressman during the health care debates.  At best you can say that you were around people who were experts in health care policy.  That's like me claiming to be a level 63 High Elf because David plays Skyrim.

Not me.

"My experience and education make me an ideal candidate for this position in my humble opinion."
Once again, really?  My job posting was pretty vague and yet you still don't even fit those vague criteria.  Further, you don't know even know who else is applying and what their qualifications are.  Either you're playing it coy and are holding back something big on your resume, or you wrote "ideal" but don't actually know what that word means.  Ditto for "humble."

And finally, and my all-time favorite, and I swear I am not making this up:

Drumroll, please.

 I am not a speaker, but a communicator, all Goya with a touch of Picasso.


  1. Erm, by listening to Z100 in the am in the late 1990s, you mean and still to this day on the drive into work right? Because I fit into both catagories... and Greg T is still on it along with the rest of that zany cast of Elvis and the Z morning zoo.

    1. No way! I didn't know he was still on. Do they still call him Frat Boy? They have Elvis-- or was it Elliot?-- in the morning on some station down here but I can't listen to it because his voice annoys me so much.